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3 Reasons Why I Quit Facebook (and You Should, Too)

3 Reasons Why I Quit Facebook (and You Should, Too)

Productivity and Time Management
Ah, Facebook. I remember being so excited when, as a mere high school student with only a MySpace page and a Xanga blog to my name, I could finally create a Facebook profile - previously the exclusive realm of college students. From there, Facebook pretty quickly took over my life. I spent over a decade on the site, logging countless hours uploading many a photo, posting many a vapid status update, and getting into quite a few public arguments with friends and family. Ah, Facebook... However, I'm happy to announce that, after over a decade on Facebook, I've finally decided to quit. It's been over a week, and I'm very happy with my choice! In case you're also considering quitting Facebook, here are my reasons for quitting. I submit them…
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Prioritize Your Life in 5 Minutes: An Introduction to the Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Prioritize Your Life in 5 Minutes: An Introduction to the Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Productivity and Time Management
If you're reading this blog post, I imagine that you, like me, are pretty busy. You've got a lot on your mind, a lot on your to-do list, and you're not sure how to prioritize your time and attention to the things that really matter. Having introduced the 80/20 Rule (also known as the Pareto Principle, "law of the vital few," etc.), I'd like to now introduce you to its powerful partner: The Eisenhower Decision Matrix. The Eisenhower Box is worth your time because it will help you to perform an 80/20 Analysis on your life. That is, it will help you zero-in on the "vital few" - the top 20% or so of your tasks, habits, etc. that are responsible for 80% of the positive outcomes in your life.…
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How to Pray Before You Read and Write: A Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Before Study

How to Pray Before You Read and Write: A Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Before Study

Church and Theology, Productivity and Time Management
I want to share with you the following prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Before Study, based on Oratio S. Thomae Aquinatis ante studium, which Thomas Aquinas would pray before studying, writing, or preaching. We prayed it responsively before class (Patristic and Medieval History and Doctrine) with Dr. Piotr Malysz at Beeson Divinity School, and I’ve since turned back to this prayer often! A Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Before Study O God, Creator of all that is, From the treasures of Your wisdom, You have arrayed the universe with marvelous order, And now govern with skill and might. You are the true fount of light and wisdom. Pour forth a ray of Your brightness Into the darkened places of our minds; Disperse from our souls the twofold darkness into which…
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3 Questions to Ask When You Study the Bible (Plus a Worksheet!)

3 Questions to Ask When You Study the Bible (Plus a Worksheet!)

Bible and Scripture
The Problem: Studying the Bible can Quickly Feel Overwhelming Right? Even with helpful books out there like How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (that's an affiliate link, by the way, meaning that I get a small commission at no cost to you if you end up buying the book), there are still so many potential questions to ask of any biblical text when we study it. How are we supposed to keep questions of authorship, genre, meaning, application, etc. etc. straight when we study the Bible? The Solution: Ask These 3 Questions of Any Bible Passage You Read and Study No, I didn't come up with these on my own. To give credit where credit is due: I heard them at Beeson Divinity School from Dr. Allen Ross. Also, a…
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5 Books Every Christian Should Read

5 Books Every Christian Should Read

Productivity and Time Management
OK, OK. I get it. Claiming that every Christian should read these 5 books is a bold claim. But, honestly, I think that these reading recommendations stand up to the scrutiny. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with just the top 5 books that a busy Christian should read if she wants to learn the essentials about: Productivity and Time Management Bible Study Theology And, I think I've arrived at a pretty good shortlist if I do say so myself. If you read and understand these 5 books, you'll be well on your way. Specifically, you'll receive the following information: My favorite study Bible My favorite guide to how to study the Bible My favorite overview of Church history My favorite overview of Christian theology My favorite…
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An 80/20 Approach to the Christian Life: 2 Reasons Why Christians Should Care About the Pareto Principle

An 80/20 Approach to the Christian Life: 2 Reasons Why Christians Should Care About the Pareto Principle

Productivity and Time Management
Do you want to live a more meaningful and purposeful Christian life, but you feel like it's hard enough just to get everything done on your to-do list each day? I'm right there with you! That's why I've made "Get Your Act Together (Productivity and Time Management)" the first of my Steps to Find Purpose and Meaning in Life. Thankfully, I think I've found something that can help. I'd like to introduce you to the "Pareto Principle," also known as "the 80/20 Rule," the "law of the vital few," or the "principle of factor sparsity," if you want to get all technical about it. Put as simply as possible, the 80/20 rule says this: 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Take a moment to think about this, and…
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How to Understand and Remember What You Read: 4 Questions to Ask While Reading a Book

How to Understand and Remember What You Read: 4 Questions to Ask While Reading a Book

Productivity and Time Management
Let's be honest, reading is the closest things we humans have to a superpower. And yet, even when we somehow, miraculously carve out time to read something, it can be very difficult to understand and remember what we read -- especially if it's a difficult book that's worth reading in the first place! This is because, as Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren note in their perennial classic How to Read a Book (affiliate link), we aren't usually taught how to become skillful readers. Instead, in school, we're given the bare basics and then set loose into a jungle of long and complicated books that we struggle to make sense of. So far, How to Read a Book is the most helpful guide I've found to become a better reader -- to…
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The Hermeneutical Implications of Scripture’s Theological Location

The Hermeneutical Implications of Scripture’s Theological Location

Bible and Scripture, Church and Theology
INTRODUCTION Theological hermeneutics – human understanding and interpretation in light of the identity and acts of the triune God – faces two problematic questions that, I believe, every biblical and/or theological scholar must be prepared to address. First, should the Bible be read in some special sense as divine revelation, or should we read the Bible like any other text? And second, should biblical and theological studies be one discipline, or two? In what follows, I propose that we can best account for both (1) the relationship between general and special hermeneutics and (2) the relationship between biblical and theological studies by first attending to Scripture’s theological location regarding its subject matter – the all-encompassing story, to which it bears witness, of how the triune God creates and redeems a…
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Principles: 10 Imperatives for the Good Life

Principles: 10 Imperatives for the Good Life

Productivity and Time Management
Why write out a list of principles? For one thing, it's my birthday. And, although I'm only in my twenties, I'm feeling a bit reflective. For another, I've just been given a copy of Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio (affiliate link). According to Dalio (ix), Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life. They can be aplied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals. With that in mind, here are 10 principles I've developed so far. I've followed Dalio's lead in casting my principles as imperatives. No, I don't always do an excellent job at these. But they're worth striving for. No, this is not an exhaustive list. And no, I don't always…
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Testimony: A Faith Story, In Brief

Testimony: A Faith Story, In Brief

Personal
The following is an attempt to tell my testimony, the story of my Christian faith, in approximately 500 words. It was challenging to do, but also a helpful exercise! I challenge you to write out your own story in approximately 500 words. Testimony For as long as I can remember, I have known and followed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. However, there has been a lingering problem in our relationship – on my end. Of course, this problem is called “sin.” But, I mean an even more specific problem: my struggle to know Jesus, and not merely to know about Jesus. (For an attempted summary of the content of my Christian faith, what I believe, see "What Do I Believe? A Cross-Centered Credo.") Childhood I have always placed a high…
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